Cosabella Pioneers Another Trend: Higher Conversions with AI
Bigger images, brighter buttons, and better header messaging helped Cosabella increase their conversions by over 38%.
Cosabella has been a leader in the lingerie space since 1983. Their products can be found in luxury department stores like Neiman Marcus, Selfridges, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Nordstrom, throughout thousands of boutiques worldwide and on their online storefront. A believer in ethical manufacturing to ensure the quality of their products, Cosabella has also pioneered countless trends—from bodysuits in the mid ’80s to the popularization of colored lingerie and the thong craze of the ’90s—that earned them a reputation as an innovator.
Cosabella is a family-run, family-owned business. One of the unique challenges for its second-generation CEO, Guido Campello, is balancing the original company vision and passion with the rapidly changing technology landscape.
Enter Courtney Connell, Cosabella’s marketing director. With her background in applying technology to achieve marketing breakthroughs, she was the ideal person to lead the charge. And conversion rate optimization, a passion of hers, was one of the first areas where she saw technology could make a huge impact.
Cosabella had used agencies and other technologies before but the uplift wasn’t where they wanted it to be. The main problem? Courtney had more ideas than a typical testing solution could handle. She’d heard about Sentient Ascend at a retail conference earlier in the year and thought she’d take it for a spin.
Cosabella had a handful of ideas they wanted to test immediately. And because Ascend works differently than other testing platforms, they didn’t need to prioritize which to try first. They could simply try them all at once.
“That was one of the things that really drew me to Ascend,” said Connell. “My team had some big goals and the right ideas about how to get there, but our tools were holding us back. Ascend let us increase our testing velocity and get some really promising results. The first test alone made me a believer.”
In other words, even with AI, creative still matters.
Cosabella tested four different site elements: their header, button color, image size, and CTA placement. They had a total of fifteen ideas spread throughout those elements which amounted to 160 possible designs in that first test. And here’s how it went:
Through several generations of Ascend testing, Cosabella arrived at a few important conclusions. First, they learned that bigger images helped conversion rates. That wasn’t as surprising as their other two big takeaways:
- Pink buttons performed better than black ones: even though the black buttons were originally designed to give their brand an added feel of luxury, customers preferred pink ones.
- Messaging about their culture worked better than messaging about their prices: Cosabella had long used a standard header message touting free or discounted shipping. But as it turned out, customer preferred messaging in line with their ideals and history, namely “Family Owned Since 1983.”
Those changes, when combined, produced a 38.4% lift in conversions! The best part? Not only did Cosabella use Ascend to improve its online messaging, but also moved that messaging to their holiday packaging. That means what they learned about their messaging online is now something shoppers in department stores and boutiques are seeing on the product itself.
“I’ve always been proud to be a second-generation owner,” said Campello. “I think it’s one of the things that makes Cosabella unique. And to see that message resonated with our customers validates a lot of what we do and the efforts our parents made to keep it all in the family.”
Cosabella’s not through testing yet. Next on the docket are a series of tests on their newsletter subscription experience; Connell hopes these changes will increase newsletter subscribers and ultimately customer lifetime value, but she’s really excited to have a tool to prove (or disprove) her instincts correct.
“Look, testing’s hard,” said Connell. “I know a lot of the ideas my team have had don’t pan out. And we know we’re not alone there. But Ascend gives us the velocity to actually see if our instincts are right, to try tons of our messaging and designs ideas in one fell swoop instead of waiting years. Last but not least, Ascend allows us to leverage our in-house talent which only adds to the speed of our experiment creation and implementation. It’s going to make the next year really exciting at Cosabella. We can’t wait to get going.”
By The Numbers
Cosabella’s first Ascend™ test took just seven weeks to produce massive results:
different items tested simultaneously
different changes across those items
possible designs evaluated
"Ascend gives us the velocity to actually see if our instincts are right, to try tons of our messaging and designs ideas in one fell swoop instead of waiting years."
– Marketing Director,